Warner Creek Restoration in Boyle Park

We are pleased to share an update on the Warner Creek Restoration Project - a project completed in 2013, to restore a 300-foot long section of ephemeral creek channel within Boyle Park, adjacent to Elm Street in Mill Valley. This section is a tributary to Warner Creek, which empties into Richardson Bay. 

Click here to see the before - during construction - and after photos.

Marin County submitted the Boyle Park Creek Restoration Project as part of the North Bay Watershed Association’s grant application with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 

Marin County oversaw the $370,000 construction contract in coordination with Mill Valley’s Department of Public Works. The project was funded through a generous grant from the Environmental Protection Agency’s San Francisco Bay Water Quality Improvement Fund with support from the San Francisco Estuary Partnership. Another key group involved in the project was the North Bay Watershed Association, a group of 15 regional and local public agencies in Marin, Sonoma and Napa counties that focus on water issues. 

Working together, the City coordinated a full restoration, through a combination of revegetation and reconstruction of the creek channel into a step-pool channel morphology.

The 300-foot reconstructed channel was divided into four sub-reaches, each with varying slopes and features. The channel was first cleared of non-native vegetation in preparation for the reconstruction. To the extent possible, native trees and shrubs were incorporated back into the revegetation plan. Trees identified for removal included one acacia tree, five plum trees, one willow, and the stump of one bay tree. Revegetation included native trees, shrubs, and grasses selected to complement the existing native vegetation and to provide ecological function.

The project is now in its 5th year of monitoring. Mill Valley Public Works’ Parks crew weeds the area twice per year to assist growth of the natives. Each winter, storms create cascades of water through the reach. The Marin County team monitored the site over the last five years and has proclaimed the project a success!

Many thanks to the key members of the Marin County team: Joanna Dixon, Marin County Associate Civil Engineer and Chris Choo, Marin County Principal Watershed Planner.